Learnings from Borlänge

School Hanan Abdulamir More

The design for a University building in Borlänge was from the start intended to be non-canonical, as an expression of the limits of classical architecture in the use of its language in unexpected ways. There is an oversized and exaggerated cornice that hides a storey, a celebratory crown on top of the educational building.

This celebratory crown becomes an inhabited space both internally and externally, with plaster carved faces embedded in the design of the frieze. I imagined the likeness of these faces to be in honour of educational masters in both Sweden and the world. To further illustrate the non-canonical nature of the university building, I introduced two entrances: the first, a grand entrance to the right highlighted by a step forward, and a secondary entrance slightly left of centre.

The composition of these elements was intended to draw they eye around the façade from all directions. As an educational facility, there are of course the ubiquitous Ionic columns that form a colonnade along the ground floor, paired to support soft arches. There has been a conscious effort to emulate great examples of Swedish Grace in this design, which are often found across Sweden.